Member Reviews

A read that quickly became a page turner and made me really think.

Anger at there father, two sisters, and the feeling of helplessness, they want to be there for their mother, and she does move in with Heather, but Nikki is really struggling, and wow, I was surprised how far she went.

In the end she really went home, not to own but to her father's ancestors, and ended up staying with his brother, Uncle Wes.

All at once she dives deep into her heritage, so rich, and the local community. There are pictures, of her grandparents, and her Dad and Uncle, but there is so much more. People whom share there memories, and culture with her. Then there is the Lutheran Church, part of the family forever. She also stumbles on a book that is filled with recipes. We soon learn why the current family never tried these recipes, and could very well understand.

This is a story of determination, finding oneself, and the biggie forgiveness, and a strong love of family.

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this faith-based story about a young woman who is left reeling when her father leaves her mother for another woman. When she finds out dear old Dad marries the "other woman," she leaves her apartment without calling her long-time boyfriend and ends up driving to her uncle's farm in rural Missouri.

Needing time to deal with her feelings for her father and figure out her feelings for her boyfriend, the young literature teacher spends the summer on the farm with her uncle, delving into her ancestry.

I loved everything about this book - the characters, the history round World War I and how it affected German families in the U.S., the journal and its recipes, the faith that shines through during the story. I highly recommend this uplifting, thought-provoking book.

I received this Digital Review Copy from Revell Books through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review. This is that review.

Was this review helpful?

Nikki’s parents’ divorce and the uncertainty about her parents’ relationship leave her feeling lost, and she goes to her uncle’s farm in a small Missouri town. She had no idea that this visit would heal her present and uncover a past of which she knew almost nothing.

During Nikki’s searches around her late grandmother’s belongings, she comes across an old notebook full of handwritten German recipes and wise sayings taken from the book of Proverbs. Interested, she takes these recipes to cook and invites locals to her family table to discuss the history of her town and her ancestors and maybe even mend relations with her lost father.

Nikki’s journey to connect with her roots soon turns into an engaging journey. Nikki can comprehend how her ancestors endured their agonies when each dish opens doors to stories of love, loss, and resilience.

Brunsvold’s writing style is convincing and poignant; it effortlessly brings the readers to the beautiful scenery of the Missouri farm. Descriptions of the food are mouthwatering, and it is almost impossible not to feel hungry when reading it. But the emotional depth of the story is what captivates. Brunsvold does a beautiful job of delving into themes of family, forgiveness, and the strength of faith as threads woven effortlessly into Nikki’s path of self-discovery.

Nikki’s character seems approachable and fleshed out, so readers can sympathize with her ordeals and celebrate her progress. She was determined to find a way to heal the past and have a better future, and her discovery of appreciation of her heritage and the way food connects generations may be inspiring.

“The Divine Proverb of Streusel” is a lovely story about perseverance, love, and the power of nourishment to cure a broken heart. It reminds us that sometimes, the most profound healing may come from the most straightforward actions, like sharing a meal and listening to the stories of those who came before us. I highly recommend this book.

I want to thank Revell and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this story and the recipes!

Nikki is a teacher at her wits end with her personal problems - her dad left them abruptly, her mom has to move out of their family home, her boyfriend is pushing for more than she's ready for, and then she sees online that her dad remarried. She takes off for a drive and ends up at her dad's family farm - a place he left at an early age. There she's comforted by the memories of her grandma and happier times. Her Uncle, Wes, is managing the farm and plans on remodeling the old farm house. Nikki decides to take a break from her life and stays the summer to help. She meets the townsfolk and learns stories about her grandma and family that help her heal. She cooks from an old German cookbook she finds and the recipes are awesome.

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a temporary, digital ARC in return for my review.

Was this review helpful?

This review is unlike any I have written before. I left out details of the story as other reviewers gave insightful descriptions. I am sharing instead three key components I feel set this book apart.

The imagery. I was drawn into deftly delivered descriptions. Simple phrases revealed backgrounds and possibilities in ways I had not read before. Tall praise as we often hear there is nothing new under the sun. Yet in The Divine Proverb of Streusel, “The sun pulled the covers over its head.”

Distinct characters. Voices. Personalities. Actions. The reader can imagine physical descriptors yet knows who is speaking. No tags needed. These are characters that pop into your mind and park RVs for a long visit. They travel with you long after you close the back cover. Just as I wish I could spend an afternoon by Mrs. Kip’s side, what a joy it would be to chat with Aunt Emma and cook in the kitchen with Nikki’s great grandma.

The Structure. Not a high-speed car chase or a desperate escape over the Swiss Alps. The Divine Proverb of Streusel is everyday life - in real time. The reader discovers how God grants forgiveness in less than an instant, without hesitation. Whereas we in our humanity can take an age to forgive. This story reveals the truth in a realistic journey about receiving and giving grace.

I was overjoyed to receive an advanced copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley because I adored The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip. Then, a friend gifted me a book at Christmas that had a similar storyline but was general market fiction. This gave me an opportunity to view and consider the juxtaposition of life with and without God at the center. Due to evaluating these stories side by side, I realized what a wise choice this author made in constructing the flow of The Divine Proverb of Streusel. I am grateful for this book and others so full of faith that there is only one choice, for it to overflow into our hearts.

A few favorite quotes:

“The directness drew her eyes to him. At first, irritation showed back. Then, slowly, a surrender. Like she was caught in a searchlight and too tired to run.”

“Mother only wanted to share the pieces of herself that she felt could help Ann the most. That’s what every parent wants.”

“Nothing that we despise in other men is inherently absent from ourselves. We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don’t do and more in the light of what they suffer.”

“This world gives enough reasons to fret. Be not one of them. Be the help.”

Was this review helpful?

Having read the story of Mrs. Kip, I was excited to pick up another book by this author, but enjoyed it just wasn't what I was expecting. Nikki's dad has suddenly up and left the family, divorcing and then remarrying another woman in a short span of time. She retreats to her uncle's farm to lick her emotional wounds, and while away discovers an old cookbook. These recipes, along with meeting community members, give her a connection to her ancestral ladies. There are themes of faith, family, and forgiveness, but mostly it's a story of self-discovery and forgiveness.

Was this review helpful?

Family, faith, forgiveness, and doing the next thing.
I enjoyed how this book centered around recipes, something I am always drawn to, and tradition.
It was an easy, heartwarming read.

Was this review helpful?

The Divine Proverb of Streusel by Sara Brunsvold is a story of family, faith, healing, and restoration. Nikki Werner’s anger and hurt over her parent’s divorce drives her to seek peace at her uncle’s farm in Eddner, Missouri. While helping to clean out her grandmother’s house, she discovers her great grandmother Lena’s cookbook filled with recipes from her German heritage and proverbs of wisdom from her grandmother that tie in with a proverb from the Bible. The characters are well developed and dynamic. I loved Joyce, the neighbor and baker who has patiently been trying to get the attention of Uncle Wes for years. Joyce comes along side Lena and mentors her while she tries the recipes in her great-grandmother’s cookbook. Together they discover the healing power of cooking and forgiveness. Thank you NetGalley and Revell for an advance copy of this e-book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed the author’s first book about Mrs. Kip, this one not as much. In this advance reader’s copy, a page is reserved for a family tree, which will help. Sorting out who the characters were confused me for the first couple chapters.
Nikki Werner’s dad divorced her mom and quickly remarried without informing them. Nikki is understandably distraught, but runs out on her boyfriend and winds up in her dad’s hometown, asking to stay with Uncle Wes, whom she hardly knows. He’s cleaning up the family home and she finds a notebook written by her great-grandmother, full of proverbs and German recipes. The cooking sessions calm her heart
I like the adventure of learning about her grandparents and great-grandparents and how they shaped the lives of Nikki and her immediate family.

Was this review helpful?

This book was not what I expected, but I absolutely loved it. I read it in one setting. I had expected a usual story about changes and lots of happy endings, but this was more than that. It was about faith, family and forgiveness. All of which is exposed in the relationships involved with cooking and working. I received this as an arc from NetGalley without pressure for an honest review, and I have just ordered my own copy to keep and share.

Was this review helpful?

I loved the author’s previous book and was very much looking forward to this one. I struggled a bit to engage with the plot. A promising start of a difficult divorce/abandonment. But then the story centers on the main character reminiscing upon/with relatives that she seemed to barely know (an uncle, a grandmother) and it just did not draw me in. It was more self-discovery than story, and perhaps that was an expectations issue on my part.

It did wrap up nicely with a message of not hardening our hearts towards those who hurt us and it has a ton of faith elements naturally worked into the story.

All in all, an enjoyable, quiet read.

Was this review helpful?

The book was a little slow for me at first, but once I got a few chapters in I couldn't put it down. Sara has a beautiful way of creating authentic characters with flaws and weaving Biblical truths in her writing. This book was one I didn't know I needed-- just as the main character was wrestling with forgiveness and healing within her family, I have been as well. This book softened my heart toward a family member in my own life, extending grace and understanding in this season. Also, being of German descent myself, I loved the historical context of settling here as immigrants and the recipes that my family may have prepared as well. I felt a kindred connection to this book! Great read.

Was this review helpful?

10 ⭐️
Why did this book end? I honestly could have kept reading this book forever.

No cursing
No romance (well maybe like a SMALL part) but no kissing, nothing

This story was just beautiful. There were times I left like I was reading a devotional- with the amount of wisdom that was shared from Nikki’s grandmother. This was good and deep.

The character development was just AMAZING. I even loved Aunt Emma, who was only introduced via email & phonecall. That’s how rich and great the characters were.

The story line developed so well. Nikki went through so much and worked through a lot in this book. I loved the willingness to say yes to hard things and press in when she didn’t understand why.

This is not my last book from this author. I will prob go and read every one of her books now.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley and Revell for a digital advance reader's copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

I couldn’t resist this title – and the book pretty much matched my expectations. I was intrigued by the premise of Nikki Werner learning about her family heritage through the old recipes she discovers in her grandmother’s book. Among the handwritten German recipes are words of wisdom and encouragement from Grandma Ann for women like herself, living during and right after World War I. Cooking these recipes gives Nikki a first-ever real connection to the women who had labored in that small galley kitchen before her.

Nikki is spending her summer vacation on her uncle’s family farm in rural Missouri to adjust to the disturbing fact of her parents’ recent divorce, and to deal with her feelings of abandonment by her father. She’s also trying to decide how she feels about her significant boyfriend, Isaac.

During this summer, family members as well as people in the community share family stories with Nikki. She discovers her heritage, and the stories provide a healing salve. The author explains how “stories are the universal heart language. They bring together what is scattered.”

The stories, as well as cooking her grandmother’s recipes, help Nikki to learn her family history, and this education has a way of putting her life into perspective. “Cooking has a magic to it. The taking of opposing raw things and step by step shaping them into something new and unified. Discordance is chopped, sautéed, and stirred away, until a melodious creation simmers in the pan.”

The book contains themes of family, faith, forgiveness, and redemption. Many of the characters have a sense of faith, which gives the novel an added dimension.

The one thing that bothered me was that while Nikki was a high school teacher, so is at least in her mid-twenties, her character seemed to think and act more like a teenager. And the other characters treated her like one, too. (Her uncle, parents, sister, aunt, church members, even her boyfriend – pretty much everyone). As I was reading, I had to keep reminding myself she was an adult.

Despite this aspect, overall I enjoyed this heartwarming novel of family and forgiveness. If you’re looking for a small-town redemptive story that has a cooking theme combining faith and a bit of romance, this is the book for you.

Was this review helpful?

Gentle story about a woman who flees to her uncle's house to help him fix up the family's house. While reconnecting with her family's heritage through cooking, she faces her fears of commitment and her bitterness toward her father. Over all, as good story, and it made me wonder about my own German heritage.

Was this review helpful?

I was excited to be on the launch team. This is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last.
This book is about Heritage, Forgiveness, Family, New friends and Food. The main character Nikki Werner has just broken up with her boyfriend and is estranged from her father. She flees to the Werner farm in Edner, Missouri to stay with her uncle Wes and help him to fix up the farmhouse. She discovers her German Heritage through books and recipes.
She starts making the recipes and inviting people over and hearing stories of her family and Edner. She is getting great advice from her sweet Aunt Emma and working on her relationship with her father. I didn't want this book to end. Recipes included in the book. Authors note at the end is an important read.

Was this review helpful?

"Pain could be a security, hard to surrender, practically an identity. But if she were ever to know the height and depth and width and breadth of the mercy in which she was awash, she needed to give mercy too."

I loved this author's first novel so much that I couldn't wait to read more from her. The similarity of wise, faithful mentors in both novels was my favorite part! There is rich, Biblical advice within this story just as there was in The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip.

The Divine Proverb of Streusel started out slowly for my taste. It took me a little while to soak into the characters and their plights. But Uncle Wes soon won my admiration. Nikki came across as a little younger than she was supposed to be and didn't end up being a favorite. But the last quarter or so of the book won me over for sure.

If you want a thoughtful story laced with wisdom that feels like candlelight on a winter night, you'll find that here. I really appreciated the strong faith thread.

*I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Having loved this author’s Mrs. Kip book and recommending it to others, I was looking forward to this second offering from Mrs.Brunsvold. It was a good read, but moved much more slowly than the Mrs. Kip story.

Other reviewers have told what this book is about, so I won’t do that here. It was well-written, just a bit slow for me.

I received this book from the publisher via net galley in exchange for an honest review. Three stars.

Was this review helpful?

An extraordinary tale of family, faith, and the importance of our response to others.

Ms Brunsvold has weaved a brilliant tale about a wounded daughter grappling with the difficulties of life, and her uncle, the man who accommodates his niece's search for answers.

Nikki's world crumbles, and she finds herself 200 miles away from home at the family farm Uncle Wes manages. Within dusty, stored boxes are pages of family history and ancestral wisdom Nikki embraces.

I loved the glimpse at farming life this story shared. Having fond memories of my grandparents farm, I relished this peek into the hardworking farmer's life.

I also loved Nikki, even in her stubbornness, and Wes. His conversations with Aunt Emma amused and inspired me, and I spent the majority of the story hoping for some positive turns in the overall grey "facts" in this novel. That being said, God's light shone white and bright throughout. The reality and pain of life was not separate from God, but a reminder of where we should "flee" to in times of trouble... to God, not away from Him.

There are plenty of difficult moments in this story, with times I wanted to shake a few characters to see what I could see. Is that how God feels about us sometimes? 🤔

A wonderful, thoughtful, and heartwarming read. Thank you, NetGalley and Revell for my advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a quick read about forgiveness, finding yourself, and connecting to your roots.

Brunsvold starts her story off on a hard note--Nikki's father has unexpectedly divorced her mother and left the family reeling. Unable to cope with the upset and with her boyfriend, who wants their relationship to move along, Nikki flees to her family's ancestral home in the small town of Eddner. Wes, Nikki's uncle and owner of the family home, is pleased to see Nikki, but her struggles unearth his own past hurts and further strains his relationship with his brother. But the discovery of an old family recipe book sets Nikki on the path of finding herself through her great-grandmother's German recipes, and what results is not only delicious food but mended hearts, new friendships, and blossoming love.

Although the story was slower in parts, Streusel was a quick read for me. The characters are relatable and realistic, the history is fascinating, the proverbs are soul-giving, and the recipes sound delicious! Nikki and Wes are great leads; although they're very different in character and background, their dedication to their family and to finding out more about their history brings them together and keeps the story interesting. Yes, they each have their moments--Nikki's heartbreak makes her extra stubborn and Wes's fear keeps him from following his heart--but they change as their family's recipe book helps them heal. Also helping them heal is their faith, which is wonderfully woven throughout the story. Faith-filled without being preachy--my favorite kind of Christian fiction.

Overall, Streusel is a lovely read. A bit slow at times, a bit of an abrupt ending, but overall sweet and filled with great characters and relatably hard topics.

Was this review helpful?